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Welcome New MBS Students!

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Over two days in mid-August, MBS faculty and staff welcomed the program’s largest-ever incoming class via MBS’s first-ever virtual orientation. Held on August 13 and 18, respectively, the two sessions—split due to the total number of incoming students—featured plenty of meeting, mixing, mingling, and (this year) virtual transporting.

Executive coach and instructor Kathleen Cashman—affectionately known as “Professor Kathleen” to students—welcomed attendees with her signature enthusiasm and cheer, introducing herself as “part of the team that is not only going to welcome you to this journey, but show you how you can be very successful on this journey—and get you where you want to go.” Cashman then introduced MBS executive director Deborah Silver, Ph.D., and leadership team members including Beth Ann Murphy, Ph.D., Abbe Rosenthal, PCC, Rupa Misra, Ed.D., Karen Bemis, Ph.D., and Vicki Pasigos—program manager for recruitment and admissions, student services, and scheduling.

As in previous orientations, the event provided multiple opportunities for students to interact. This year, however, the “mixing and mingling” aspect was facilitated by Keith O’Donnell, MBS IT leader, who whisked, mixed, and then deposited groups of randomized, ever changing students into virtual chatrooms that rotated every five minutes. Students were given four questions to ask one another:

  1. Tell me about you—what’s something I wouldn’t know from looking at your resume?
  2. What made you choose Rutgers Master of Business and Science program?
  3. What made you choose your academic concentration?
  4. What do you believe your next career role will be, and how is your academic concentration going to help you get there?

 

Welcome MBS Students!

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After learning more about their fellow peers, orientation shifted back to the MBS Team, whose members described the valuable program enrichments that are standard elements of an MBS education, including:

“You never do anything alone,” said Cashman of MBS’s comprehensive student support and career guidance. Cashman also referenced the ample opportunities to put learning into practice—particularly via MBS’s internship and externship programs—and the importance of taking classroom learning outside of the classroom. “If you remember nothing else about this program, it’s that it’s experiential,” she said. “Knowledge is power, but only when shared [and applied].”

Dr. Silver explained that the MBS program itself is designed so that each student has the ability to construct an individualized curriculum that’s in alignment with where he or she wants to go—career-wise and personally—in the future. Silver, MBS’s co-founder and director since the program’s inception in 2010, has increasingly incorporated design thinking into MBS curricula, and told students that in designing their curricula—and, ultimately, their futures, “we want you to think outside the box.”

To that end, in advance of their orientation sessions, students were asked to complete an “Odyssey Plan” in which they mapped out three different ways that their life could unfold. Silver said that she and the MBS Team will be conducting “passion and purpose” workshops throughout the semester to help students further develop their Odyssey Plans.

Cashman imparted to students her signature motto and the guiding philosophy of the MBS program: “You are in charge of leading your own ship,” she says, with each student having an opportunity to create a life filled with passion, purpose, and—ultimately—satisfaction. Cashman, who conducts one of MBS’s two foundational courses—MBS’s communication & leadership course (the other is the Capstone course)—will have the opportunity to meet all orientation attendees at some point during their time at MBS. 

The orientation was a great success (students can look for a follow-up survey in the very near future). However, the event was also the result of months of intense, detailed planning by MBS staff members. “Having a virtual orientation really forced us to go outside of our comfort zone,” said MBS Life Sciences Coordinator Beth Ann Murphy, Ph.D., one of the event’s main organizers who also helped develop and implement a virtual chemistry lab over the summer. The success of the orientation and the lab, she says, “taught us that we can succeed in providing an enriching, interactive event in a virtual environment.” 

We hope that all incoming students are as excited as we are for this new chapter in their lives, and we look forward to being part of your journey!

Author(s): 
Jen Reiseman-Briscoe
Published On: 
08/25/2020